Tuesday, January 30, 2007

30-In-30 Challenge: Week 13, 172.6 lbs

So I joined a gym last night. Lifestyle Family Fitness. My husband had been encouraging me to do it for a few weeks now, and so we finally went last night to sign me up. I've actually been a member of this particular gym before, but I had to let my membership go earlier this year because I was in between jobs, finances were tight, and I wasn't even using it (yup, I was sitting at home instead, having nightly binge-eating fests 'cause I was super-stressed from the money issues, and my husband was on deployment and therefore wasn't there to watch me self-medicate the stress and pain away with food). Anyway, I really do love this gym - it's brand-new with all new equipment, it's got TVs hooked up to all the cardio equipment, the staff lets me do my own thing, there's no waiting for machines, it's perfectly safe and well-lit (the main issue, since the only time I can workout is after dark), I know from experience that breaking my membership is absolutely hassle-free, and the best part - it's practically across the street! No excuses. So I worked out last night after signing up, AND I went again this morning before work. It felt so good to be back.

But back to last night's workout. I had an interesting bittersweet experience there, something that only truly formerly FAT people can relate to. And it's not the first time something like this has happened. First off, when you swipe your membership card to check in and enter the building, your picture on file appears on the clerk's computer screen. Well, when I checked in last night for the first time since dropping my membership earlier in the year, the clerk made a weird face, said there was some sort of mistake with my picture, but let me in anyway, saying she'd look into it and resolve it later. Well, on my way back out the door after my workout last night, the same clerk stopped me at the door and asked that next time I come, that I have someone take my picture again for their files. She said that the one they have for me looks nothing like me, and that she doesn't "want to see that person" anymore when she checks me in (she meant it as a compliment). Finally, the light bulb went off in my head, and I asked her to turn the computer screen to see what they had on file. I knew it was coming, and yet I was still shocked, 'cause it was even worse than I had thought. No wonder she had been so confused. There I was on her computer screen, a good 50 lbs heavier, with my hair back in a tight ponytail, and such poor picture quality that even I couldn't recognize my own fat face. The only way I could tell it was me was from the t-shirt I was wearing - a ratty old high school t-shirt. I literally looked like the Michelin Man in a turquoise 1995 perfect attendance shirt. I didn't know whether to be proud of my present self, or to feel sorry for my former self. I said as much, and she congratulated me how far I had come. Safe to say I couldn't wait to have that new picture taken this morning when I went back again!

Sorry for the topic-change whip-lash, but it's the Tuesday check-in for Jimmy Moore's 30-In-30 Challenge (2 lbs lost this week!), although I guess after reading about the changes to the Challenge, I think I'm going to be making my own changes to my participation in it. I've already met the challenge of losing 30 lbs in 30 weeks, so I think I'll simply continue on toward my ultimate goal weight of 150 (I'm so close), continuing to count the weeks since I've started (1 Nov 2006), and of course I'll keep checking in every Tuesday on Jimmy's Challenge blog for accountability.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

30-In-30 Challenge: Weeks 11-12, 174.6 lbs

Yes, I'm now WELL aware that I have the fattest, not-cutest-looking feet ever. I just never quite realized the extent of the non-cuteness until I attempted to take a picture of them. It explains why my mom has referred to them as Fred Flintstone feet all my life. Anyway. I have a new toy - a new scale by Weight Watchers. It pretty much does everything but talk to me , which it really SHOULD talk considering how much I paid for it. Oh well, that's what birthday money is for. And I figured I hadn't truly rewarded myself in awhile. It measures body fat, BMI, even my hydration level, and all sorts of other stats. And it remembers all this stuff for up to four people. Sad part? I've had it for about two weeks now, and I have yet to do anything but check my weight.

So I've had a busy couple of weeks. I flew back home to Chicagoland last weekend to visit parents and my brother and my adoreable little nephew. AND managed to eat well and lose weight. I couldn't really get any exercise in, and I haven't been up to working out since I got back, either. TOO TIRED, feeling like I'm still catching up from being gone for awhile. But it all turned out well, and everyone was amazed at how much I'd lost since the last time I'd been home. It was powerful motivation.

One of the hard things, though, was seeing my brother. He had clearly put on at least 50 lbs since I last saw him in August. I'm guessing he's easily over 300 lbs. His weight story is quite similar to mine, a lifetime of yo-yo-ing up and down. But it didn't hit me until last weekend that he may have the same binge-eating depression/coping issues that I do. How else does a person pack on that much weight in such a short time? It was really hard to see, almost like looking in the mirror at my former self. So jovial on the outside, but so filled with pain if anyone cared to look a little more closely. It's by far the heaviest he's ever been. And now that he's got a new kid, I gotta imagine that it'll be even harder now to lose the weight again.

One highlight, though, was a field trip to Black Earth, Wisconsin - home of the famous scandal-ridden shoe store The Shoe Box, and a great sports bar (under the same owners, who also own the Madison Mallards baseball team) called Rookies. The bar also has its own whiffle ball field, and in case you can't read the seventh rule, it reads: Close calls result in a Chug-off. And for all you southern snowbirds, the field was more suited to making snow angels than double-plays.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

30-In-30 Challenge: Week 10, 177.5lbs - GOOOAAL!!!

YES!!!! I DID IT!!! I feel so good, I could almost go out and pull a Chastain, but I still don't have the body for that, the hubby probably wouldn't approve, and well, ....it'd just be weird without being in the middle of a soccer pitch having just scored a winning goal in front of thousands of cheering fans. But I feel almost as good as she did in that moment. Not only did I lose 30 lbs within the goal of 30 weeks - I lost it in TEN weeks. I don't think I've EVER lost weight that fast. I keep waiting for a month-long plateau to hit me, but it just never came. No complaints here, although I'm pretty sure I need to start eating a little more.
So now I'm less than 30 lbs away from my goal weight of 150. I'm well aware that these next 30 lbs are going to be a lot harder to lose, and so I know it'll take a lot longer than 10 weeks. But I've proven to myself now that it's very do-able by the end of 2007.
Because my ultimate goal weight seems so close, I've been thinking a lot about how to prevent my typical self-sabotage whenever I get to this stage. A lot of it has to do with my all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to eating right. I'm one of those people who has to eat perfectly, and once I get off track, it's nearly impossible to right myself before I've gained nearly every pound back. I use one single eating mishap to justify days, weeks, even months of binging. I mean, if I eat one cookie, I tell myself that I've blown my diet, so I might as well keep eating the whole package!! Then I'll go to the grocery store up the street and buy a whole bunch of junk food to scarf down for the rest of the night because, well, "I'll just get back on track tomorrow". But then the next morning comes, and I see that all the junk food from the previous night isn't gone yet. Well, I can't very well throw it away, that's wasteful! So I eat it, telling myself I'll just get back on track the next day. Then I go buy more junk food for the rest of the night, and the cycle just keeps repeating itself, day after week after month.
So after some thought, feedback from others, and a little online research, I'm thinking about joining Weight Watchers when I have about 10 lbs left to lose. So far it seems like their points plan is just what I need to combat this destructive inner dialogue. I need a different perspective on food. A new set of rules. Some view that says that it's perfectly okay to have the cake, so long as I make up for it in other ways, like cutting back earlier in the day/week. So that's what I've been kicking around in my head lately. That's a ways in the future, though. Right now I'm am perfectly content to enjoy the feeling of nearly 2 1/2 months of success.
Speaking of that, just because I met my goal already of 30 lbs, that doesn't mean I'm done with the 30-In-30 Challenge. I'm just going to set a new goal for it: I think another 10 lbs is more than reasonable in what's left of the Challenge time. I have 20 weeks left, so that's about a half a pound a week. Very reasonable.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

30-In-30 Challenge: Week 9, 180.5 lbs

I'm so glad 2006 is over. For many reasons, this had to be the worst year of my life. So many stresses, curveballs, and worries, and of course my weight reflected every up and down. But it's over and done with, and I have never been more optimistic about a new year. I'm so excited over some of our plans, I just know it's going to be a better year in terms of less stress and moving on.

I'm especially excited about the head start I have on getting my weight under control again. I had another big week on this 30-Lbs-In-30-Weeks Challenge, losing 3 lbs during the biggest stretch of food-fests in the year: Christmas, New Years Eve, and my birthday. I didn't feel (too) deprived, and any sacrifice is well-worth the feeling of knowing I don't need to spend the first few weeks of 2007 undoing damage from stuffing myself over the holidays.

And now, on with the obligatory New Year's Resolutions:

1. I must finally reach my goal weight of 150 lbs this year. I started with Atkins for the first time back on January 1st, 2003. I've come so close to reaching it a couple times now, but somehow I always manage to self-destruct and eat everything in sight until I put nearly every pound back on. Not this year. I'm about 30 lbs away now. I've lost almost 30 lbs in the last two months when I started this Challenge, so SURELY I can lose at least that much again in the next twelve months.

2. I need to drink less diet soda. Specifically Diet Mt. Dew. My husband and I drink it like water! I would say I down about 3 cans a day. While this is still LOADS better than drinking 5-6 cans of regular Coke a day like I used to, all those chemicals can't be that great for me. I'd like to shoot for no more than a can a day.

3. I need to be more diligent with daily devotions. As a Christian, it's simply non-negotiable, and I've let it slide to the back burner for far too long. I want to continue in my spiritual growth, and I'm growing stagnant by not prioritizing my life around it more.

4. I need to take better care of myself. My weight isn't the only thing I let go in 2006. But it stems from that. When you don't take care of yourself in one area, the other areas tend to follow suit. I haven't had a dental checkup in about a year now, and it's been at least a year and a half since my last eye checkup. I really need to get a complete physical, beyond the normal yearly thing, including a complete blood work-up to get my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. checked. I just need to be more vigilant with my body in ALL areas, not just my weight.